Avanti Display and Artizani are two of the UKs best known outside arts companies. In 2013 the arts council of England awarded them a grant to make some new collaborative work, the brief was to investigate the theme 6 Impossible Things. The result was two outdoor shows, Reliquary and Bees! and one indoor show. The outdoor shows have been supported this year by the Without Walls network and played six outdoor festival in the UK including, Brighton Festival, Greenwich and Docklands, Salisbury, Stockton, Norwich and Norfolk and Winchester Hat fair.
Avanti Display is one of the UK’s longest surviving outdoor performance companies and has been evolving for almost 30 years, producing and presenting a highly individual brand of comic
surrealism across the UK and beyond. Whether on an epic or intimate scale making performances outside is what they do. Their show The Spurting Man directed by Emil Wolk and featuring Trevor Stuart is considered to be one of the classic pieces of street theatre.
Artizani is a dedicated, full time professional street arts organization established in 1989 by Artistic Director James Macpherson and based in the High Peak region of North West England. The company specializes in creating medium and small scale street arts performances with high production values and a surreal twist.
On top of the Reliquary sits the preserved remains of a new species they have commissioned. Outside hang six sets of headphones, six audience members are chosen and are invited to look inside the reliquary itself. Inside is the egg of the last Arctic Platypus and the six hear a poem a song and an argument3. As the audience watches the egg hatches before their eyes and a shivering new born is revealed. When they look away from the interior the six find the world changed as the two attendants have transformed the outer audience.
The Bees investigates the complex symbiotic relationship humans have with bees. It is beautiful, humorous, and thought provoking. An installation of Luxury Beehives all hiding a
unique interior world – they all look fairly similar but each one contains an unexpected interior installation, some with high spec digital technology – others relying on more traditional means. Audiences wander amongst the honey-perfumed Bee Colony, occasionally cloaked in smoke, finding a variety ways of viewing and interacting with the contents.